One more time ... After a heartbreaking split decision loss to Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 195 earlier this year, Carlos Condit is out to prove he deserves another 170-pound title shot when he takes on the surging Demian Maia this Saturday night (Aug. 27, 2016) in the main event of UFC on FOX 21, which takes place inside Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
That’s not the only attraction the Great White North has to offer, however -- Former Lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis, will make his Featherweight debut against Charles Oliveira. In addition, Paige VanZant vs. Bec Rawlings and Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon 2, among other fun fights, are all on tap for primetime television exposure.
The four main card fights on FOX will be joined on by four "Prelims" undercard matches, which will also air on FOX right after the online portion (see it here) wraps on Fight Pass. Let's dive into the guts below:
185 lbs.: Sam Alvey vs. Kevin Casey
After smashing his way into flirting with Middleweight contenders status thanks to three consecutive first-round knockouts, Sam Alvey (27-8) hit a major snag with underwhelming losses to Derek Brunson and Elias Theodorou. Less than one month after the latter bout, however, he returned to his finishing ways thanks to a brutal guillotine finish of Eric Spicely.
Seventeen of his 27 wins have come by knockout.
The ignoble exit from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for Kevin Casey (9-4-1) gave way to three straight wins on the regional circuit, resulting in his 2014 return. He has gone 1-1-1, 2 NC in his latest run, his win over Bubba Bush overturned because of a drug test failure.
He will give up three inches of height to the 6’2" Alvey.
Generally speaking, Alvey will either look very, very good or very, very bad. Luckily for him, Casey is a perfect foe for him to look good against. I’ve been high on Casey before, but his cardio issues show no signs of abating, he’s chinny, and Rafael Natal amply demonstrated how vulnerable he is to counters. He’s more or less tailor-made for Alvey provided the latter remembers to throw a punch every once in a while.
The fight is basically just a matter of waiting until Alvey finds his mark and Casey’s chin fails him for the fifth time. It will eventually result in a knockout win for "Smile’n Sam."
Final result: Alvey def. Casey by first-round knockout
155 lbs.: Chad Laprise vs. Thibault Gouti
Chad Laprise (10-2) capped off his impressive run through The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Nations" with a decision victory over teammate Olivier Aubin-Mercier, then followed that up with wins over Yosdenis Cedeno and Bryan Barbarena. He has since lost two straight to Brazilian hulk Francisco Trinaldo and fellow TUF alum Ross Pearson.
Four of his 10 wins have come via knockout, though none in his last eight bouts.
Thibault Gouti (11-2) punched his UFC ticket with a one-hit knockout of Anton Kuivanen, only to lose his Octagon debut in equally dramatic fashion as Teemu Packalen choked him out in 24 seconds. His next fight saw him survive two rounds against the aforementioned Aubin-Mercier before tapping to a third-round rear-naked choke.
He has stopped nine opponents overall, six via submission.
Laprise’s well-rounded game may not take him to a title, but it’s consistent and effective. He’s the better striker here and ought to have the wrestling to dictate the fight, making Gouti’s submission prowess a non-factor. Physical opponents and superior technicians appear to trouble Laprise -- Gouti is neither. Laprise keeps him at the end of one-two combinations and shuts down his takedown attempts for a decision win.
Prediction: Laprise via unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Enrique Barzola vs. Kyle Bochniak
Peru’s Enrique Barzola (11-2-1) had fought just once outside of his home country going into TUF: "Latin America 2." Luckily, he made the transition without issue and scored two wins on the show before outclassing Horacio Gutierrez on the Finale.
"El Fuerte" has knocked out and submitted four foes apiece.
Kyle Bochniak (6-1) didn’t let a little thing like timing stop him from making his UFC debut in Boston just nine days after his previous bout. There, "Crash" managed to drop hometown favorite Charles Rosa early, but ultimately lost a unanimous decision.
Like Barzola, his four finishes are split evenly between knockouts and submissions.
Bochniak impressed me against Rosa, showing a very solid wrestling game against the grappling specialist. Judging by Barzola’s fight against Gutierrez, he’ll come out with a similar gameplan. Bochniak’s already proven himself able to thwart it, and this time, he should get the win as well.
Barzola has more experience, but his and Bochniak’s records are rather close in terms of quality wins. Odds are, he’ll find Bochniak too big a jump, losing the wrestling battle en route to a decision loss.
Prediction: Bochniak via unanimous decision
155 lbs.: Felipe Silva vs. Shane Campbell
Felipe Silva (7-0) blasted through the South American circuit, picking up five first-round finishes in six fights. In his most recent bout, he went overseas to knock out Anton Kuivanen in his native Finland. He has knocked out five opponents and submitted another.
Shane Campbell (10-5) earned viral fame with his Street Fighter-inspired finish of Derek Boyle, setting the stage for his short-notice Octagon debut two months later. "Shaolin" has gone 1-3 in the promotion, most recently suffering a submission loss to Erik Koch in May. Five of his professional wins have come by knockout.
Silva’s obviously got power and Campbell’s struggled recently, but I believe he can avoid the three-fight skid. He’s the cleaner striker of the two and Silva’s grappling pales in comparison to that of James Krause and Erik Koch, who controlled Campbell on the mat. The Brazilian will likely give him the striking battle he wants and I do not see Campbell losing that.
Expect Campbell’s distance game to pay dividends as he keeps Silva at bay, avoiding his foe’s power clinch to ultimately take home the decision.
Prediction: Campbell via unanimous decision
UFC on FOX 21 features several fun fights, some possible division shake ups and, most important, no price tag. Can’t do much better than that, Maniacs.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 21 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, and then the remaining under card balance on FOX at 6 p.m. ET, before the FOX main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.